Domestic Abuse: Why It’s So Important to Prepare a Winning Defence Strategy From Day One | Criminal Defence Lawyer Toronto

“Domestic abuse” doesn’t involve one specific offence.  The justice system views “domestic abuse” to include not just assault charges that happen within the context of a domestic relationship but all types of aggressive behaviour, including threatening and criminal harassment, happens within a domestic relationship.

Moreover, “domestic relationships” do not just mean relationships between spouses.  “Domestic relationships” include relationships between:

  • Spouses, i.e. married couples, common-law partners, and same-sex partners
  • Dating Couples, i.e. boyfriends/girlfriends, casual dating partners, friends-with-benefits, etc.
  • Parent and Child
  • Siblings

If you find yourself faced with a domestic violence charge, it’s important to take action IMMEDIATELY.  John Erickson is a senior domestic assault lawyer in Toronto with more than 20 years of experience defending numerous individuals charged with domestic assault-related offences. 

Having attained a wealth of experience, John Erickson has appeared at all levels of court.  He will bring a level of skill and knowledge to your domestic violence case and address your concerns quickly and accurately. 


Overview of Domestic Violence

Allegations of this nature are taken very seriously due to the growing prevalence of these cases, the risk of the violence escalating, and the impact it may have on any children who witness it. 

Most people immediately picture physical violence when they think of domestic violence.  In reality, any aggressive behaviour like threatening, criminal harassment and stalking also fall under the purview of domestic violence in Canada.  It can also take the form of sexual abuse, coercion, threats and financial abuse.

Such cases usually investigated by special branches of police services and prosecuted by special teams of Crown prosecutors. 

It’s very IMPORTANT that you present a strong defence in court from day one by hiring an equally qualified and experienced defence lawyer. 


The Challenges of Being Charged With Domestic Assault

These charges are governed by Crown policies that call for an aggressive and stringent approach to domestic abuse. Ultimately, what qualifies as “domestic” assault is at the discretion of the Crown’s office.

Once the Crown deems a case domestic in nature, it might proceed with heightened concern. What does this mean? Getting bail and other adjacent release conditions could, therefore, become a bigger challenge for the accused. In fact, the accused might even face harsher release conditions. 

The concern here is primarily that the accused, if released, could inflict more violence on their domestic partner – this is something that the Crown views as highly likely and hence, proceeds cautiously.

Again, timely and experienced legal intervention is crucial to cope with the many entanglements of a domestic assault case. The smallest misstep could spell trouble for you at your trial. We strongly urge you to contact Erickson Law without delay and let us advise you on how to proceed. 


What To Do If You Are Charged With Domestic Assault

Do NOT resist arrest. Even if you feel that you are innocent of the accusations, violating direct police orders could lead to the charges being escalated.

When detained or arrested, most people panic and reach the assumption that talking to the police will help them out.  We do NOT recommend this. Instead, ask to speak to a lawyer IMMEDIATELY and do not answer any questions (other than truthfully identifying yourself by name and date of birth) until you have had a chance to speak to a lawyer in private.  If you ask to speak to a lawyer, the police MUST stop asking you any questions until you have been given a reasonable opportunity to speak to a lawyer.

When should you ask to speak to a lawyer?  Ask as soon as you feel that you are being detained or under arrest.  In other words, ask as soon as you feel that you are not free to go about your business as you wish.

When detained or arrested by police, your only legal obligation is to truthfully identify yourself by name and date of birth.  NEVER LIE TO THE POLICE. If you are asked any questions beyond identifying yourself, simply politely but firmly decline to talk unless your lawyer has advised you otherwise.  Exercising your right to silence is your constitutional right.  The fact that you have chosen to remain silent cannot be used against you later on. 


Jail Time and Fines

A domestic assault charge can have serious consequences if found guilty.  If the Crown proceeds by indictment, the maximum sentence is 5 years in prison, 10 years if a weapon was used or bodily harm was caused, or life imprisonment if the victim was wounded, maimed, disfigured or their life was endangered.

If the Crown proceeds by summary conviction, the maximum sentence is two years less one day in jail plus a $5,000 fine. 


Your Case Could Get Tricky – Contact a Criminal Defence Lawyer Today

With a charge as serious as domestic assault, not getting a qualified lawyer on your side could be a huge mistake – even if no crime was committed.  Such cases typically involve one person’s word against the other’s, and hence, police almost always make an arrest when responding to an alleged instance of domestic violence. 

Erickson Law is a trusted criminal defence lawyer in Toronto with a wealth of knowledge and experience defending individuals like you who have been charged with domestic assault in the GTA and throughout southern Ontario. 

John Erickson will work hard to carefully review the circumstances of your case and prepare you for trial.  The Crown Attorney’s Office will prosecute your case vigorously. You need a lawyer who will work even harder for you. 

Call (416) 363 ­3612 to speak with John Erickson if you have been charged with domestic assault.